Adam Peaty has won the men's 100 metres breaststroke at the last two Olympics ©Getty Images

Triple Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty has revealed that he has sought help for problems with alcohol and mental wellbeing but insists he will return to target further glory at next year's Olympics in Paris.

Peaty is the most successful British swimmer in more than a century, but has conceded that he has sometimes felt a "devil on his shoulder" as he struggled to come to terms with life as an elite swimmer.

“It’s incredibly hard to balance a high performance elite lifestyle with family friends relationships and all the other things that life has to offer because this takes 99 per cent of your energy and time and commitment," Peaty told BBC Breakfast.

Peaty had already won European and World titles by the time he won Olympic 100 metres breaststroke gold at Rio 2016.

It was the first gold medal of the Games for Britain and he instantly became a national hero.

Last November Adam Peaty received the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his achievements in the pool ©Getty Images
Last November Adam Peaty received the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his achievements in the pool ©Getty Images

He retained his title in Tokyo and added a gold in the 4x100m mixed relay.

Over the last eight years, Peaty has also won 16 European long-course gold medals and eight golds in the World Championships.

"A good friend of mine said a gold medal is the coldest thing you will ever wear," Peaty continued.

"It's the coldest thing because you think it will fix all of your problems. 

"It will not."

Peaty admitted depression and turning to alcohol as his wellbeing away from the water was affected by injury and the breakdown of his relationship with the mother of his young son.

Last May, Peaty suffered a freak foot injury which caused him to miss the 2022 World Aquatics World Championships in Budapest.

Although he returned in time to claim gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, he was unhappy away from the water.

He has also admitted suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and seeking help after turning to alcohol.

In April this year, he withdrew from the British Championships last month to concentrate on his mental health.

“I’m tired, I’m not myself and I’m not enjoying the sport as I have done for the last decade,” said Peaty.

"Some might recognise it as burnout, I just know that over the last few years, I have not had the answers,

“With help now I know how I can address the imbalance in my life.

"As athletes our brains are wired a little bit differently, we're constantly chasing reward and if we can see that reward we will work extremely hard for that reward," 

Peaty was left out of the 29-strong British squad named last month for the World Aquatics Championships which is due to begin on July 14 in Fukuoka in Japan but he insists that he will be aiming for a place at Paris 2024.

"I think that mentally I’m becoming one of the best athletes I can be because I am not hiding from the lows, and I am not hiding from that side of the brain which is hyperactive and I don’t really understand anymore," added Peaty.

"I would not be here if I wasn’t confident about Paris.

"We’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of stuff to do, training and also mentally because how to you maintain a motivation or something else stronger like a discipline for more than 10 years."